Interviews are a staple in the media world. They are a way to get to know a celebrity, musician, or politician on a personal level. From late-night talk shows to eating wings, interviews come in different varieties. Being in this profession, I have been lucky enough to get to interview comedians, professional athletes, musicians, and sex coaches (Shoutout Laura Corn). I even once upon a time got to interview potential interns which, if given free rein, is the most fun interview of your life. But what happens when interviews get used in satire? What you get is typically gold material. An example of that is when you get the Interview with yourself. Variety posted earlier this week Josh Brolin interviewing, you guessed it, Josh Brolin. In what was supposed to be an interview between him and Jeremy Renner as a part of their ‘Actors on Actors‘ segment, with Renner unable to make it, Brolin decided to interview…himself. Josh asked Brolin about his newest show Outer Range, his work in the western genre, playing Thanos, and his kids. All while getting nervously asking and staring…at himself.
If you have a free 12 minutes, click the link here and check out the full conversation.
Another example of a great interview with oneself is the iconic short Will Ferrell: Bush & Bush. President Bush sits down with W. and talks about what animal they want to be, the best kind of wood, and flying Air Force 1. Will Ferrell is undoubtedly the great let alone while portraying not just one, but two W’s.
Though this is an older video you can watch it at the link below.
After watching these “interviews,” I find myself wondering how that would really work. How would I interview Elliott? What would I ask myself, and would it be any different from what I ask myself on a regular basis? Seeing as my life is basically an open book thanks to this career and a need to feel accepted (gotta love those self-esteem issues) I have decided to sit down… with Elliott Kams, radio co-host to New Rock 104.1’s The Drew Show. We covered his start early days as an intern, the seven-year college tour, and more. Rather than take a comedic approach, I felt it is only fair that I be as real as I possibly can be. Therefore, I will be asking myself a few uncomfortable questions and answers. Below is the full interview with Elliott.
Me: Elliott I want to thank you for taking the time to come talk with me and being a part of the latest blog.
Elliott: I’ve been a fan of your work so getting to be a part of the blog only felt natural so thanks for having me.
Me: I appreciate that, whenever it comes to my work or writing I always feel shocked or surprised when someone says they like it so it makes me happy you feel that way. Do you feel something similar when you get praised for your work?
Elliott: The first thing I ask people when they say “I listen every morning” or “I love your guys’ show” is “Why?” I never thought I’d be in radio growing up so whenever I hear people saying stuff like that I’m always kind of blown away with peoples’ opinions on the show or blog. I don’t know where me asking that stems from but I also feel a huge wave of gratitude when someone says they listen.
Me: Author Ryan Stewman says that gratitude is one of the four major Gs in life, what are you grateful for?
Elliott: There’s a lot of things I’m grateful for honestly. The obvious is my parents and siblings. I’ve always felt lost when it comes to what I should be doing in life. Whether it be about work, my social/love life, or even what I’m doing in a day, my parents have always told me to find what I want and have supported me trying to figure it all out. The same goes for my siblings. Martin showed me not only that people can change, but how hard someone can work to achieve a goal. For years Martin has worked his ass off to get to where he is now and what’s even more insane is that this is just step one for him. I can’t wait to see what new heights he reaches next. As for Ali, she has been my everything from my best friend, therapist, car karaoke partner, to inspiration. She much like Martin, moved to San Diego to chase something. Ali wanted her independence and she went into the world whereas I often feel I played it safe and stayed in Fresno to attend state. Ali became a makeup artist and knew that wasn’t enough to satisfy her drive. She is now a licensed esthetician and an incredible mother. The thing both Martin and Ali share is an undying engine, something I feel I am definitely lacking compared to the two. I look up to them more than I can put into words.
Me: What makes you feel lost? What is it that you feel you’re looking for?
Elliott: I think what makes me feel lost so often is the direction in which my life’s going. I mentioned earlier how I never thought I’d end up in radio so just being here is kind of a miracle, and I feel not knowing where I’ll be in the next year, month, week is what always has had me wondering if what I’m doing is the right thing.
Me: Why don’t we go into how you started radio. How did you get into it and when did you see it becoming a possibility of becoming an on-air host?
Elliott: It started with my third major change at Fresno State. I had been a criminology major for the last year and although my grades in my crim classes were high, I saw how draining getting into law can be and I didn’t want that for myself. Writing has always been something I enjoyed so my dad suggested journalism. It was also the fastest major change to get a degree so win-win. After I switched, my brother let me know he was working with a friend of the previous morning show host (Much love Skip) and suggested that I ask to job shadow. I went to Facebook and Dm’d her and she gave me a date and time. I showed up with a notepad and had no idea what was in store for me. At 6:05 am she pushed a live mic in front of me and said “Let’s see what you got.” I will never forget how gawky and uncomfortable I felt. Later that show I was introduced to Drew and after making a dumb dad joke that I can’t remember they both laughed and told me to come back next week. I was doing once a week on-air with them for about a year until I got made into the stunt boy. After that, I was hired onto the promotions team and was finally given a Saturday shift. Fast forward almost three years later and I’m co-hosting a successful morning show, who woulda thunk it?
Me: The Drew Show has been on for two and a half years now, what changes have you seen in yourself since the start of the show?
Elliott: I feel as if I’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past 2 years while also feeling like I’m still the same gawky intern I was when I started. There are days you get done with a show and you say to yourself “Whoa, I CRUSHED that today.” That said there are still days when I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing or have no way to vocalize my thoughts which is kind of the job. If I had to pick one thing I would say my storytelling has gotten much better since the start of the show. I’m also at the point where I feel I’ve opened up to about everything about myself so it gives me a kind of freedom when I tell a story, there’s no fear anymore.
Me: How important is it to be so open on-air?
Elliott: It’s everything honestly. Drew, Hammer, Rev can all attest to this, why would anyone want to open up about their stories and their life if you aren’t willing to open up to them? When you are open about your life, it invites people in. It builds the relationship and that’s why I feel The Drew Show is so unique. We talk about our biggest failures, we joke about things most shows probably would get an ear full for, we’re as authentically us as possible.
Me: What is your favorite part of the job?
Elliott: Getting to host interviews is easily the best part of the job for me. I love hearing stories so getting to talk to someone about how they came up in the world is always exciting. I’ve gotten to talk with comedians like Burt Kreischer, Rory Scoville, Jesus Trejo, as well as professional athletes like Vernon Davis and Rashad Evans who have all had great backgrounds and stories. Not only that but you get a chance to talk to them about something they’re passionate about rather than either hearing their routine or just them talking shop.
Me: Since you brought up professional athletes let’s talk gym for a sec, favorite muscle group to work out?
Elliott: I was a big Leg Day guy when I first got into the gym, as of now though, I’m leaning toward Pull Day. It’s basically Back and Biceps so you get that “I look huge” feeling plus a sick-ass arm pump. Plus there is no better feeling than seeing your arms dumbass pumped right after curls.
Me: A big part of fitness is food and nutrition, I don’t want to hear about your diet I wanna know your last meal, where you going?
Elliott: This is tough because a sloppy ass Tommy’s Burger with Caliente Fries always sounds good. But if I had to have a last meal I would say Amachis in Downtown Whittier. Amachis is a family-owned hole in the wall Japanese restaurant. Growing up my grandparents would take all of us kids, parents, and cousins to basically take over the whole restaurant. The old lady who has owned it since the 70s is still there now and still bringing incredible food to the table. As for something here in town though, I’m going Strawberry All-in-One with sausage and extra cheese from Fresno Bagel. Bagels are the pinnacle of the breakfast breads and you can’t tell me otherwise.
(Amachis Family Dinner Plan)
Me: Alright, here’s my last question Elliott. What matters most in life?
Elliott: This is gonna sound super cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason. What matters most in life is your happiness and your peace of mind. I think a lot of us feel trapped and aren’t sure if what they’re doing is even helping. I understand everyone’s situation is different but you need to find time to really ask yourself “Am I happy, and if not what can I do to make myself happy?” I think a lot of us, myself included, have always been afraid to either share about things that make us happy or are afraid to try something that could. We only have the one life, so why not at least try to live the happiest life you can for as long as you can. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to get into, or a place you’ve always wanted to see, try and learn more about how you can get there. Don’t let the everyday routine hold you back from exploring new options, especially if what you’re doing now is making you miserable. I got rejected by more than a handful of writing jobs but writing makes me happy, even though a lot of my personal writing is low-key sadboy material. Now I get to write for New Rock once a week, so it’s all about taking your licks and using it to improve.
Me: Elliott thanks for sitting down with me and opening up to us.
Elliott: Anytime, unless everyone reads this and they hate it, then never again.
Hopefully you enjoyed this, whatever this was. I think asking yourself questions is an important part of understanding yourself. I took inspiration from a few of the questions found here: